BJ Penn’s guarantee that he would be competing at UFC 196 on March 5th appears to have been a little premature, as it turns out his comeback fight has now been pushed back to UFC 197 on April 23rd instead.
“I thought the fight guaranteed was going to happen because the UFC, they set up medicals for me to do,” Penn explained on his own bjpenn.com website. “I did the medicals and they were sending a film crew down and we were getting all that together and I assumed we were setting up the fight, and that might have been what was happening. But, at the end of the day, [UFC matchmaker] Sean Shelby called me and said it would be more convenient for all of us to move the fight to April 23.”
According to Penn he already knows who his opponent is, but it’s yet to be officially confirmed. Initial signs pointed him fighting Nik Lentz after a war of words between them, but on the ‘UFC Tonight’ show last week it was suggested that Dennis Siver could now be the man for the job.
For now the 37 year-old Penn is continuing to train at Jacksons MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico ahead of his return to the Octagon, having previously retired in July of 2014 after a third loss to Frankie Edgar in the Hawaiian’s featherweight debut.
UFC 197 is set to be headlined by a light-heavyweight title rematch between Daniel Cormier and Jon Jones, while the flyweight belt will also be on the line in the co-main event as Demetrious Johnson fights Henry Cejudo.